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Lecture honours University of Southampton professor's contribution to separation science

Published: 
22 October 2004

Techniques for the separation and detection of nano-particles, which have the potential to identify genetic mismatches in DNA, will be honoured by the 9th Desty Award for Innovation in Separation Science this Wednesday (20 October) at the Royal Institution.

The award, which will be presented to this year's winner Professor Hywel Morgan from the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, recognises real innovation in the area of separation science and chromatography, a science which uses a broad range of physical methods to separate and analyse complex mixtures.

After receiving his award, Professor Morgan will present a lecture on his latest research in separation science. He will describe how he uses alternating current electric fields to manipulate and separate biological particles, how these fields are generated inside micro-chips made using micro and nano-lithographic techniques, and how this technology can be used to identify and separate cells, bacteria, viruses, DNA and even molecules.

Professor Morgan said: "It is a great honour to receive the 9th Desty Award and to have an opportunity to describe my research in this field. We have made huge advances in the use of electric fields for the separation and detection of particles within bio chips and our work has many applications in separation science and in other fields. We hope one day to be able to use this technology to identify and sort beads covered with specific fragments of DNA, so that we can identify genetic mistakes and screen for potential diseases."

The award presentation and lecture at the Royal Institution in London will form part of a one-day meeting (10.30am-4.30pm) of the world leaders in chromatography.

Notes for editors

  1. Hywel Morgan is Professor of Bioelectronics at the University of Southampton. In 2001 he was awarded a Royal Society-Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship. His research interests are concerned with understanding and exploiting the applications of electric fields to biology, particularly in the context of micro and nano-systems.  He has developed new bio-particle manipulation and characterisation methods and is interested in developing methods for controlling fluids in micro-systems through the exploitation of electrohydrodynamic effects. He also has interests in artificial membrane systems and in single molecule imaging.  He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Electrostatics and the IEE Proceedings Nan-biotechnology, and recently co-authored a text-book on AC electrokinetics.
  2. The organiser of the 9th Desty Award for Innovation in Separation Science is Professor Peter Myers who can be contacted on 07836 266 757.
  3. The School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton carries out world-leading research into electronics, computer science, and electrical engineering.

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